Anonymous asks:

I am wondering how I can get my boys to listen to me when daddy is not around?

I am a mother of three boys ranging from 2 to 5 years of age.
Question asked after reading:
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Hand in Hand
Sep 2, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Dear Mother of Three Boys,

You've got your work cut out for you with all that energy in the house! I'm glad you reached out for support. I hope I can give you some ideas to improve both communication and cooperation with your boys.

Children are built to get along well with the others around them. They are naturally cooperative, loving and flexible when they feel connected to a caring adult. Getting your three to listen to you really begins with setting aside a little bit of time each day to listen to them. We call this precious chunk of parent attention "Special Time."

The key to Special Time is that you are showing the boys the cooperation, flexibility, and warmth you hope to see from them during the rest of the day. Start by carving out 5 minutes for each boy when you can focus completely on just that child. Maybe while the older one is at preschool and the youngest is napping you can devote five, uninterrupted minutes of full attention to the middle one. During this time, let your child lead, play anything he wants to play, be goofy, show him your warmth and love, appreciate what you love about him, remember holding him for the first time. As you follow his lead, do whatever he wants to do, and make lots of eye contact, he will be able to fully feel your caring and relax into your reassuring devotion.

The more each of your boys has that daily opportunity to feel your attention fully on just them for those few moments, the more warmth, flexibility and cooperation they will have to give. Dad, grandparents and other adults who care about your children can also help with giving Special Time. It builds family connection which provides a host of benefits that will last as the boys become teenagers and eventually fathers some day themselves.

I've added some articles from the Hand in Hand website that might be helpful as well.

Enjoy your wonderful boys!

Juli Idleman
Hand in Hand
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